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NESG Partners with AERC on African Developmental Research and Workshops

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CEM REPORT, CORPORATE EVENTS | Accelerating the growth of Africa is connected to a vast area of efforts to enhance capacity and boost productivity of individual and corporate ventures. One of the efforts and a major one, is quality research into finding out those parameters and factors that are very crucial to African accelerated development. A prominent organization and a frontliner in this area is the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

AERC working in collaboration with notable organizations bring together seasoned researchers from both Africa and elsewhere to generate policy-oriented research for sub-Saharan Africa. The findings of the research are then discussed at an in-country dissemination workshops which is also done in collaborations with country-based organizations.

Dr Tom Kimani, Lead Manager, Training Programs at the AERC and former Dean of the School of Economics at Kenyatta University, highlighted the works of AERC and summarized it as capacity building for African development.


Recently, an in-country dissemination workshop was held on ‘Impact of Human Capital Endowment on Household Welfare in Nigeria’. This is part of the “Human Capital Development in Africa” project being supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The workshop to share more insight about 5 research works conducted under the ‘Impact of Human Capital Endowment on Household Welfare in Nigeria’, was held at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), a Nigerian economic think-tank organization that is also partnering with AERC on some of the research areas and in-country dissemination workshops in Nigeria.

The research seeks to generate evidence on the challenges of building human capital for accelerated inclusive development and address critical constraints on human capital accumulation, such as weak public financial management and service delivery systems.

The 5 research papers presented addressed the following issues

The first research paper addressed impact of FDI on human capital development with the topic, “Foreign Direct Investments and Human Capital Development in Nigeria: A firm-level Analysis of manufacturing and ICT”. This research was conducted by Shakirudeen Taiwo et al of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

According to the policy brief of the research; ‘Building a Robust Workforce: Why Does FDI Motive Matter’, FDI inflow into Nigeria in recent times are becoming more sensitive to the characteristics of the country’s labour force. In the past years, FDI inflows usually focus on the oil-sector – resource-seeking activities, which have resulted in little or zero gains for the country in terms of employment creation, capacity building for the existing workforce, and insignificant human capital gains.

The direction of the new FDI inflows into Nigeria has resulted in divergent labour market outcomes. These investments favoured technology-enabling sectors such as ICT, education, health, and manufacturing, which have high propensities for knowledge transfers, boosting employment and employability.

Healthcare comes into focus in the second Research Paper titled ‘Analyzing the Determinants of Healthcare Insurance Uptake in Nigeria’ conducted by Wasiu A. Adekunle et al. also from NESG. This came under the policy brief titled Analyzing the Determinants of Healthcare Insurance Uptake in Nigeria.

[READ ALSO] Finance, Electricity and Corruption are key constraints to investment in Nigeria – AERC

It says that “Health insurance coverage in Nigeria has historically been low, with less than 5 percent of Nigeria’s over 200 million people being covered by health insurance. This suggests the low uptake of healthcare insurance in Nigeria, as financing healthcare through private and public health insurance schemes accounts for about 1.9 percent of the total current health spending in the country. This is quite insignificant relative to the average shares of 26 percent and 18 percent in high-income and upper-middle-income countries, respectively.

“In 2021, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act was introduced, making health insurance mandatory for all citizens. However, using compulsion alone to increase the uptake of healthcare insurance might not guarantee the expected outcome”.

The third Research Paper centered on “Child development and family human capital investment decisions in Nigeria: a study of selected states in the six geo-political zones”, which was conducted by Yelwa Mohammed (Prof.) and Sarah O. Anyanwu (Prof.), Department of Economics, University of Abuja.

“Nigeria’s economic growth and productivity depend on the development of human capital. However, the country’s human capital development is still low, particularly among low-income rural families who lack the means to invest in their children’s futures. The lack of resource endowment in most households and cultural prejudices against girls are two main factors contributing to inadequate human capital development in Nigeria. Family size and per capita income also influence decisions about investing in human capital”.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education formed the center of the fourth Research Paper tiled: The differential impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on education in Nigeria: implications for policy review. The research was conducted by Kehinde Oluwaseun Omotoso (PhD) National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-Ife, Ololade G. Adewole & Taiwo F. Gbadegesin.

The policy brief titled; ‘Learn or Perish’, emphasized that “before the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s education sector was considered fragile and fraught with unequal access to schooling and learning experiences. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown only exacerbated the problems of high rates of school absenteeism, dropout, and out-of-school children, which were relatively high before the pandemic.

“The switch to digital tools and equipment for teaching and learning was without challenges, including poor internet connectivity, a full subscription to Zoom not budgeted, and power failure, among others.

In this fifth Research Paper, Musiliu Adeolu Adewole from the Department of Economics, School of Management Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure. Ondo State Nigeria presented on ‘Determinants of participation in large-scale school programmes in Nigeria’.

The problem addressed here according to the policy brief titled; Bridging the Educational Gap: State Structure and Curriculum that Boost School Participation, is the cause of the educational participation disparity that exist between Northern and southern parts of Nigeria.

“North-South disparities in school participation persist in Nigeria despite implementing two large-scale school expansion programs. Areas with complex pre-colonial government structures seemingly record higher school enrolment in Nigeria, while those with heavy investment in Koranic education report otherwise. However, areas with more complex pre-colonial government structures report poorer school enrolment when they have invested more in Koranic education. To this end, there is evidence of a mismatch between modern economic demands and skills possessed by learners in Nigeria”.

Details of the findings in the research will be discussed in subsequent articles on this subject.

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